If you have been looking for organic and handcrafted body and bath essentials, we’ve got you covered. In Pune, Rashi Rathi is known as the ‘Soap Queen’ among those who prefer handmade soaps and personal care products over big brands sold in supermarkets. She is the first name that people suggest on social media when someone looks for a recommendation for handmade soaps, creams and lip balms. Under her company Vibhavari Enterprises, Rathi, through her brand Aimer Vallée, has been diligently making soaps, hair butter, scrubs, body wash, lip balm, lip scrub, face wash, body butter, rejuvenating undereye gel, foot care salve, acne spot treatment serum and masks, face packs and many other products. Started in 2014, the brand is a result of lack of custom-made bath and body products that Rathi herself is so fond of.
“Aimer Vallee means ‘love valley’. The name is inspired from the love for soap-making that my husband and I share. I discovered this art in Bokaro, in Jharkhand. Both my husband and I are allergic to some commonly used chemicals found in commercial bath and body products, hence we decided to come up with our own range of products,” says Rathi, who believes that each person has a unique skin type and specific requirements. Her brand’s USP is customisation.
Rathi has been using Facebook to sell her products and interacts with people making them aware of her brand in groups. She is also available to answer queries on WhatsApp. When asked if she plans to start a store, she answers, “We are not planning for a store at the moment but we supply to spas and salons who display and sell our products. Showcasing our products at art exhibitions gave us good visibility. Social media like Facebook and WhatsApp has helped us market to a larger consumer base.” She is flexible with payment options too, customers can choose from online, Paytm and cash on pick up (because customers need to go and collect their products from her house in Vishrantwadi, Pune).
Organic and eco-friendly
When asked about the ingredients she uses, Rathi says that since most of the products are customised, they don’t have the same ingredients. However, she ensures that whatever goes into the products is natural and organic. “We use oils like argan, olive, almond. Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, rosemary, herbs and herbal extracts/ powder, hydrosols are also used. All the colours and fragrance oils used are skin-safe, phthalates-free and most importantly, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA. All our products are sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) and paraben-free,” she says. While Rathi is particular about her products being organic and chemical-free, she pays equal attention to it being eco-friendly. “We reuse packing materials after proper cleaning. So we request customers to return plastic jars and bottles and give them a discount against it. We urge them to send us the hair butter jars, lip balm tubes, body butter tubs, rose water jars, bath salt bottles after use,” she says.
Rathi is one of the few entrepreneurs who make vegan products on demand. “We make vegan products based on the customer’s skin issues. We have made customised products that are vegan and we don’t test our products on animals,” she says.
Apart from her artisan soaps and hair butter, activated charcoal soaps sell like hot cakes. “We pioneered activated charcoal soaps and masks in the city. Charcoal soaps have been a hit especially in the summers,”says Rathi.
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Prices are decided as per effort and cost of raw material, but generally the products range between Rs 80-450. Visit www.facebook.com/vibhavarienterprises to shop for the products